Web browsers receive HTML documents from a web server or from local storage and render the documents into multimedia web pages. HTML describes the structure of a web page semantically and originally included cues for the appearance of the document.
HTML has been in use since 1991, but HTML 4.0 was the first standardized version where international characters were given reasonably complete treatment. When an HTML document includes special characters outside the range of seven-bit ASCII, there are two aspects should be taken into consideration: the information's integrity, and universal browser display. (Wikipedia)
ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, is a character encoding standard for electronic communication. ASCII is the most common character set or character encoding in use on computers and the most widely used character set for encoding text electronically. It was the first character encoding standard. 128 different characters are defined in it including English Letters, numbers and most common special characters. ASCII encoding supports only the upper- and lowercase Latin alphabet, the numbers 0-9, and some extra characters which make a total of 128 characters in all.
HTML Encoding means to convert the document that contains special characters outside the range of normal seven-bit ASCII into a standard form. The type of encoding used is sent to the server in the form of header information so that it can be easily and correctly parsed by the browsers.
Web encoding properly displays the text or string in the browsers. Whenever text is copied from a webpage, our browsers directly copy the decoded characters that could not be displayed in the browsers. Those ASCII characters must be encoded to properly display the output.
HTML character entity reference is a special set of characters (a code), which the browser displays as a special character or a symbol, corresponding to the entity reference code.
The general format of an HTML character entity reference is &, followed by some code, and then followed by; without any spaces in between.
The HTML Encoder tool allows you to encode and decode immediately.
HTML character encoder converts all the ASCII characters to their HTML entities. Every character has a specific meaning and every converted entity code conveys the original message of that character.
An HTML entity is a piece of text ("string") that begins with an ampersand (&) and ends with a semicolon (;). Entities are frequently used to display reserved characters (which would otherwise be interpreted as HTML code), and invisible characters (like non-breaking spaces). You can also use them in place of other characters that are difficult to type with a standard keyboard.
HTML has a set of special characters that browsers recognize as part of the HTML language itself. For example, less-then < cannot be written directly in the HTML page because browsers will consider it as an opening HTML tag. That is why the entity code of < sign in HTML will be written as "<".
HTML character decoding is the opposite process of encoding. The encoded characters are converted back to their original form in the decoding process. It decodes a string that contains HTML numeric character references and returns the decoded string.
Which are the Reserved Characters of HTML?
HTML has a set of special characters which browsers recognize as part of the HTML language itself. For example, browsers interpret the < character in the HTML code as the beginning of a tag. Thus, the < character is considered as a reserved character. It is reserved by the HTML language as it has special meaning specifying the beginning of a tag.
But how to tell the browsers to interpret those reserved characters as a part of the content, not as a part of HTML code?
Here, the HTML character entity references come to the rescue.
There are 3 reserved characters that should always be substituted with their corresponding entity character references.
- Instead of <, you should use "<"
- Instead of >, you should use ">"
- Instead of &, you should use "&"
Another reason to use the HTML Encoder to quickly output special characters not readily available on our keyboards. One such character that is used quite often is the copyright symbol or ©. The character entity reference code for © is "©".
So, our HTML Encoder can help you to quickly convert the characters and get the equivalent HTML entities.